Quick Maths. 2+2 is 4 minus 1 that’s 3.

According to the numbers, it’s not over

The Recovery Chronicles #7

I am forty-three years old.

I am publishing this five days after my gallbladder removal surgery, my fifth surgery of 2020. It is November 15. It has been eighty days since my open heart surgery. In one week I will be returning to work as a teacher in the midst of a pandemic that has killed 1.3 million people, forty-six in the county where I live.

I am scared.

After everything my body has suffered this year, I should be triumphantly walking off of a dust covered battlefield and onto a vacation. The dangers should be behind me. My 2020 war should be over. I have earned a break. I have earned more than a break. I have earned a month-long stay at an all inclusive beach resort. I have earned some peace. I have earned some quiet.

Sadly, this is not to be, for in one week I finally leave behind surgeries and medical rehabilitation to once again take up my post as a yearbook adviser at a public high school. Currently, this is just another battlefield. This one is populated with Pollyannas who claim everything is fine. This one is populated with anti-maskers who cling to conspiracy theories like the blankies we all know them to be. This one is populated with the mathematically deficient who can’t seem to recognize that 1% of seven billion is a Very Large Number of dead people. This one is populated with the depressed and anxious who are scared and confused, and everyday growing more and more cognizant of the fact that their leaders do not care about their safety.

And, like everywhere else, whether people admit it or not, this battlefield is populated with COVID-19. Though I am no more likely to catch it than anyone else in my age bracket, if I were to catch it, the likelihood that my case would be difficult is high.

My heart and lungs, after all, have recently been quite taxed.

I am in a unique position in that I have been able to witness most of 2020’s problems from afar. Since my health issues began in January, I was quarantining before it was cool. And what I have seen as I have watched the world crumble around me are leaders who are weak, afraid, fragile, and most importantly, willfully ignorant.

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is not complicated.

In short, it states that it is not the strong or the smart who survive. It is those who adapt. Leaders who refuse to recognize that we are in the midst of a terrible global pandemic, leaders who refuse to manage this pandemic, and leaders who actively deny it is happening, are refusing to adapt. They are not leaders.

They are cowards shoving their heads in the sand. They ignore the numbers at their own peril and, unfortunately, at everyone else’s.

I am forty-three years old.

I am publishing this five days after my gallbladder removal surgery, my fifth surgery of 2020. It is November 15. It has been eighty days since my open heart surgery. In one week I will be returning to work as a teacher in the midst of a pandemic that has killed 1.3 million people, forty-six in the county where I live.

I am angry.

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AE Stueve

AE Stueve

AE Stueve teaches and writes in Omaha, NE. Check out all of his available work at aestueve.com